Photo by PWS
The Southern Boobook is the smallest of Australia's owls (300-350mm). It has overall brown plumage with white spots on the wing and an undersurface streaked with white. The feet are grey or yellow.
Occurs singularly or in pairs within a variety of habitats, including forests, woodlands, gardens and parks.
The Boobook Owl is a nocturnal hunter. Its diet comprises small mammals, birds and invertebrates.
Like all owls, it is superbly adapted for night-time hunting.
Its soft feathers effectively eliminate the noise of its flapping wings, allowing it to swoop upon unsuspecting prey.
The Boobook nests in the hollows of trees, where it lays two to three white eggs. The female incubates the eggs, but both sexes, and
sometimes a second female helper, feed the young. It should always be remembered that dead trees are as important as live ones, as they are the home for a wide range of mammals and birds. It may take hundreds of years for a tree to form such hollows.
The Boobook is also known as the "mopoke", due to its distinctive call which sounds like "mo-poke".
The Southern Boobook is a common resident across mainland Australia.
In Tasmania, the species is common throughout the State and the Bass Strait Islands.